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Death Wish: Book I: The Vamp Saga Paperback – March 22, 2012
About the Author
Danielle Blanchard Benson is a world traveler and the author of several different series. Ms. Blanchard Benson is the author of Beginnings: Book I (The Plague), Death Wish: Book I (The Vamp Saga), The Catalyst: Book One (The Pop Stars) and The Beautiful People series. She is currently working on Better Off Dead: Book II (The Vamp Series), the re-release of The Beautiful People Part One & Part Two (revised and re-edited by Spring of 2012), Love Voodoo: Book I (DeGeneration), Apocalypse 2012: Book II (The Plague) and The Making of a Star: Book Two (The Pop Stars). Ms. Blanchard Benson has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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The world had changed, vampires were now the dominant race, controlling major conglomerates such as Wall street banking, pharmaceutical companies, and medical advancement. I was pulled into this concept, consumed by the idea of vampires and humans intermingling with open knowledge but clear definitions of where one another stood in the food chain. The imagery of past exploits and perhaps future intrigues was well examined by the author through her protagonist, Manon, and I was eager to learn more about this new wold order and her place within it.
At finish of these two chapters I started to identify with Manon's revolt of vampires and clear struggle trying to stay alive in such a changed environment, particularly financially given her orphaned past and lack of current support network. Working the tables at a vampire owned casino making ends meat only serves to fuel her intense dislike of these blood drinkers further, seemingly capitulating to the very creatures that supposedly murdered her father, but alas, she remains powerless to change her circumstances.
That is where my interest in this story waned.
Manon is propositioned by the rich and powerful owner of the casino, Mikkel - she will marry him, and she will become a vampire whether she likes it or not, this ideal examined again and again throughout the story with links to the past and explanations of tied bloodlines. Crazily, she agrees without much protest, and, in the course of a day or two, is suddenly in love with her captor, agreeing to marriage, and converting to vampirism with a semblance of ease.
This did not sit well with me.
The ideals that the author sprouted so consistently and valiantly for Manon in the first two chapters were suddenly shot down in a fireball of hypocrisy, and I found it hard to swallow a lot of the romance and characterisation from this point forward.
I was assailed again and again with pointless confrontations, an uncertain plot identified by no real discernible goal until closing chapters, and more than enough sex scenes to make a porn star blush. What I did enjoy was the writing style. The author was succinct in her use of language and her points were made quickly. Her imagery was fantastic and I always had a sense of the locale and character's moods, looks, and placement within their environment. There was a bit of action that kept the story moving forward, and the addition of shifters into the mix was a nice touch, though I'm uncertain of the necessity. Unfortunately the whiplash I received from inconsistent intention and preceding dialogue made it really difficult for me to take any one character too seriously or even relate.
However, I can say that the final chapters of this book did pull me back in as the author's direction became more clear, and I honestly did enjoy the climax and wondered what would precede it in the following novels. I rate this book two out of five stars. I expected just a little bit more after such a promising start.
Synopsis: Welcome to Las Vegas in the year 2020. The cold war between mortals and vampires has ended ... the vampires won and now they control the most powerful organisations in the world which include the global six, the pharmaceutical industry, the gaming industry, and banking. Manon Mourey is a half-breed (too bad she doesn't know it) and one of the most powerful vamps in the world, Mikkel Damgaard, has eyes only for her. She holds the key to a dream most vampires have had since they were turned ... yet her secret to changing the undead into Day Walkers could spark a war on the International Vampire Council ... and soon ensnare the whole entire world.
Death Wish: Book 1: The Vamp Saga, by contrast, presents the vampire in refreshing new ways. Vampires in this world are the smart ones. They are well-organized internationally. They have cured human cancers and produced drugs that have eliminated all sorts of human problems. They've even figured out how to create Sang Pur, a blood-based drink that satiates their need to feed on humans. On occasion, though, they will pay humans for a meal, presumably because it's fun.
But what is truly significant about Death Wish is that humans play almost not a role at all. Instead, Danielle Blanchard Benson concentrates on vampire society, interjecting her protagonist, a half-vampire/half-human into the upper crust of vampire society. Thus, she shows us vampire society, vampire emotions and vampire interactions that you rarely hear about in more human-centric vampire novels. I thoroughly enjoyed this book for this reason. I think you will too.
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